Pontics are the artificial teeth of a fixed partial denture that replace missing natural teeth, restoring function and appearance. They must be compatible with continued oral health and comfort. The edentulous areas where a fixed prosthesis is to be provided may be overlooked during the treatment-planning phase. Unfortunately, any deficiency or potential problem that may arise during the fabrication of a pontic is often identified only after the teeth have been prepared or even when the master cast is ready to be sent to the laboratory. Proper preparation includes a careful analysis of the critical dimensions of the edentulous areas: mesiodistal width, occlusocervical distance, buccolingual diameter, and location of the residual ridge. To design a pontic that will meet hygienic requirements and prevent irritation of the residual ridge, particular attention must be given to the form and shape of the gingival surface. Merely replicating the form of the missing tooth or teeth is not enough. The pon-tic must be carefully designed and fabricated not only to facilitate plaque control of the tissue surface and around the adjacent abutment teeth but also to adjust to the existing occlusal conditions. In addition to these biologic considerations, pontic design must incorporate mechanical principles for strength and longevity as well as esthetic principles for satisfactory appearance of the replacement teeth
The pontic, as it mechanically unifies the abutment teeth and covers a portion of the residual ridge, assumes a dynamic role as a component of the prosthesis and cannot be considered as a lifeless insert of gold, porcelain, or acrylic.'
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